According to American modern art promoter and photographer Alfred Stieglitz,, wherever there is light, one can photograph. However, what happens when there is no light?
Photography is a combination of two Greek words which literally means drawing with light. That’s why if you don’t have enough light when taking photos, you’re most probably only going to end up with a half-decent or completely bad shots. Still, you shouldn’t be afraid of taking photographs in the dark. The night offers a lot of spectacular views that one should not miss taking photos of. If you know the basics and tricks to capturing good night photographs, you’ll find that they are magical.
Use a tripod and wide lens
A shaky camera in a place with little to no light won’t do. You need something that will let you take a steady shot during long exposures. Sure, you can get resourceful and look for a stable surface where you can rest your camera. However, it will not be as steady as when you use a tripod.
You might also want to bring your wide lens with you, especially if you’re shooting architecture or landscape images. Wide lenses are better when it comes to getting focus in the dark. They also deliver sharper results.
Bring a flashlight
If you can’t have that natural light, then you can bring a light-painting tool yourself. A flashlight is handy when you need to illuminate a dim or dark area where you want to set your focus. As a bonus, it can prevent you from tripping at night.
Set camera on manual mode
First, calculate the right exposure necessary for a low-light scene. You might not be able to get it right away, but don’t worry. The more you practice it, the more you’ll get the hang of it. After all, there’s no real manual on how to best position your camera to take photos at night. Just follow your intuition and try to take night shots as often as possible.
If you don’t have time to do it, then you can just go manual. In a night shot, you need to be able to have better control of the shutter speed and aperture. Setting the camera on manual exposure mode will make this easier for you. You don’t want to spend your time making adjustments every time the light changes as you have to focus on the shutter.
Set your shutter speed and aperture for night shooting
It’s an amateur’s instinct to increase the ISO and open up the aperture to allow as much light as possible while taking a night shot. However, this is not the smartest move. Keep the ISO level normal and close down the aperture. Instead, shoot on a longer exposure. This is not the preference of most photographers. However, when you study the results, you’ll find they are great.
Unlike in the light, the camera will find it hard to autofocus. Thus, you can’t rely on it. So, you must manually focus on the image. However, if your camera has a laser autofocus, you might not need to do so.
If you want to sell photos online and grow as a photographer, you must be able to capture different scenes and subjects at different times of the day. Try shooting at night, following the guidelines above, and you might be surprised with the results.